How did Kristin Tips, a Mission Park (San Antonio, Texas) funeral director known for her efforts in helping people celebrate life become a contestant on host Jay Leno’s revived TV game show, You Bet Your Life?
The story begins back in 2005 with a national search for the most interesting person in Texas, which is when Kristin and her husband, Dick Tips, met Jay Leno for the first time.
It was fiesta season in San Antonio, and Dick, Kristin and their traveling mariachi band were out raising money to send kids to college as part of Dick’s reign as “Rey Feo.” A Tonight Show producer heard about what they were doing and sent a Hollywood film crew to San Antonio to capture it all on film.
The next thing the Tipses knew, they were being flown to NBC Studios in New York City, introduced to Jay Leno on the set of The Tonight Show, and Dick was dubbed “The Most Interesting Man in Texas” on national television.
A few years later, when the Tipses were again helping to raise money for a local charity, they invited Leno to San Antonio for a benefit performance of his stand-up comedy. He graciously accepted, and the Tipses spent another memorable night with their favorite comedian. Over the years, Leno has continued to help in the couple’s philanthropic efforts, even signing the tank of a motorcycle that was raffled off to raise scholarship dollars for kids in San Antonio.
This past fall, Jay and his Tonight Show counterpart, Kevin Eubanks, decided to reinvent the classic game show that Groucho Marx made famous, called You Bet Your Life. To bring the show to life, they began looking for “interesting” contestants, and fortunately Leno remembered the Tipses. This time, it was Kristin who got the call to fly to Hollywood and appear on his new show. Escorted by her husband, their backstage reunion with Jay was a very friendly one.
While Kristin can’t reveal the outcome of the game, the holidays were looking bright this year as her co-contestant was none other than Santa Claus himself! The episode was to air during the holiday season.
And in keeping with her commitment to local charities, if Kristin comes out on top, “you bet your life” she’ll donate her winnings to a worthy cause in San Antonio.
Watch Tips’ interview about knowing Jay Leno and being a You Bet Your Life contestant on FOX29 News at youtube.com/watch? v=sv1456qEUto&t=4s.